Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tolerance Misunderstood


Modern understanding of the word tolerance is horribly misunderstood.  For me to tolerate someone different from me isn't to accept everything they believe, represent, or think.  In fact, by definition I must continue to get along with them, treat them kindly, and respectfully despite those differences.  The differences are a key and vital component to practicing tolerance or else you are just befriending like minded people.  Where is the challenge in that and who would give you accolades for getting along with those that think, act, and believe as you do?

Yet our idiotic climate of hyper political correctness seems to define tolerance as the need to accept all behavior, all beliefs, and all actions without so much as a word of disagreement...unless you're a Christian.  Anything less will not be tolerated!  How ironic is that?  So it should come as no shock that The Pentagon has tapped Mikey Weinstein as their new religious consultant to help them formulate policy in the military regarding the topic of faith.  As the photo above illustrates this man is no fan of the Christian believer.  He considers us monsters guilty of spiritual rape. Here is his exact quote:

"Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing a weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation's armed forces...What is happening is spiritual rape. And what the Pentagon needs is to understand is that it is sedition and treason.  It should be punished."

Weaponized? Twisted? Spiritual Rape? Sedition? Treason? Punishment?

Sounds like we are the new terrorists for sharing the Gospel.  I will never pretend to understand how telling a person that Jesus died for them which allows them to enter into heaven could ever equate to those descriptions.  And though some Christians are more direct than others, I don't know any that forcibly preach to an unwilling ear.  If such a person is out there, they are disregarding specific instructions in Scripture located in Mark 6.

Click HERE for supporting article.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Photo Friday Frenzy - 106


Category: Oh Darth!

Vote closed. Winner: Nothing Maury can't solve

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection. Mobile phone users must scroll down and click on View Web Version to vote.



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Desperate Darth


Downgraded from the TIE Fighter


Nothing Maury Povich can't solve!


Some people just can't let go.


Proof that he's a hot-head.


It beats a Tonton!


Darth-cakes are best with maple syrup


Some light reading.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

David or Daniel

Lately as I ponder the times we are living in, I tend to think about the strategies of people that are bracing for everything between economic collapse to complete martial law and takeover of our country.  Most seem to have a David mentality and want to be warriors that fight the good fight.  Some go so far as to stockpile food, weapons, and build underground shelters and off grid structures with security systems in place with only approved of family and friends given access.  Their enemies (should the worst happen) will be anyone from a hungry wanderer that wants what they have to the government agents that are trying to eliminate any threats to the new infrastructure.

David was a great warrior and I do indeed see the inclination to prepare and protect.  But it was also a lonely and ultimately tragic experience.  David had moments of glory.  Defeating Goliath and just about every army that dared fight him.  Taking the office of King.  Marrying and having children.  Possessing great wealth and commanding the loyalty of his people.  Being called a man after God's own heart using his gifts as a Psalmist to worship and praise God constantly.  But he spent many, many years on the run.  Hiding in caves, eating off the land, hunted like a dog.  His many marriages caused feuds between the different kids of each wife.  Incest, rape, and even murder visited his home and his life toward the end reads more like a Shakespearean tragedy than anything else.

Then you have the Daniel or even Joseph stories.  Two equally important Biblical figures to David but very different situations when trouble came their way.  Both ended up being slaves to godless nations.  Daniel's situation was a result of his country being taken over by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army.  Yet he found a way, within that pagan system to stay loyal to God (even taking stands when his life was on the line) all the while serving those that were in power.  He became a servant to the imposing government and ultimately was deemed by that system to be of utmost value and importance.  It tends to remind me of Christ's own words when He speaks of being last in order to be first.  Coming to serve, not to be served.

But both men were men of God and both men had trials beyond measure of imagination.  Neither of them avoided strife with their particular strategy.  So...what do you think?  Should the worst happen here...are you a David or a Daniel?  And even if you would never choose to serve any kind of New World Order, would you necessarily war against it?


Monday, April 22, 2013

Answered Prayers

Sometimes in my Christian walk I struggle to identify what God is doing and where He is present.  We must remember this is the same Heavenly Father that allowed His people to wander aimlessly in the desert for forty years because He wanted them to be taught a lesson.  These lessons are for our own good and one of many methods employed to help us grown but most of us will admit we don't necessarily like it.  My desert experience has been watching my company go from its best year in 2006 to some of its worst years every year after that until 2012.

Praying for guidance and clear answers has been my number one strategy and here we are in 2013 just now positioning ourselves, I believe, for success.  Part of the problem besides being in one of the worst economies of my lifetime has been continuing to do business as usual.  If one is not careful you can easily find yourself matching the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result).  In my case I had good reason to think that would work.  Because at one time, those actions did produce results.  But business, technology, economies, politics, and even job descriptions DO change and so must our strategies for how to address them.

God started helping in very obvious ways about 17 months ago and in one more week, we will be implementing the final of over a dozen changes to the business.  It will still be a little while before all the dust settles and real numbers come in to reveal whether or not this was the right set of moves.  But for once in a very long desert-like time period for me....I see some light at the end of the tunnel.  I feel a sense of relief and burden lifted.  I am enjoying my work again and even find myself looking forward to it.  I guess time will tell if the promise land awaits.  Either way, I thank God for giving me these experiences and helping me learn from them!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Photo Friday Frenzy - 105


Category: Very Punny

Vote closed. Winner: Not his leap year.

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection. Mobile phone users must scroll down and click on View Web Version to vote.



Click on images to enlarge them.


That pun is a wiener!


This just hasn't been his leap year.


What? Nano've you liked that?


The author of this should be PUNished.


And they are top Koality at that.


That pun almost blew up in his face.


Acting is in his genes.


Selleck another joke please.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Thank You, My Ga-Ga"

WARNING: This post will contain blatant bragging regarding my now two year old son.  I cannot be held responsible for any negative reaction this may cause and instead encourage you to say "Awww" instead.


Joshua just by birth order and being a singleton instead of a twin has always been unique.  He is our last child, he was and is easier to care for than the first two, and he came into this world a natural-born charmer. Whether he wins you over with his million dollar smile or runs into your arms for a big hug, your heart will melt.  There is a greeter at our church that CANNOT wait for Joshua to come through the doors.  He always offers Joshua to give him a five but instead my son gives him a huge bear hug.  One day we went to the early service and as we were leaving, this greeter saw us and said, "Oh no! Am I too late to get my hug?"

He wins over people at the grocery store, the doctors office, and just about every public setting we take him to.  I know that its partly due to his baby-like cuteness factor but there is something more to it.  Case in point is his natural inclination of expressing gratitude.  Since he first began talking one of his earliest expressions to us was "Thank You".  We never emphasized this phrase or drilled him with it, he just always says thank you when you do anything for him.  Most recently he wanted to get in my car and pretend to drive.  I opened the car door and he said, "Thank you my Ga-Ga!"  Heart melted, game over.  Not only did he thank me but he called me his.

Last but not least (and I hope and pray this character trait never goes away) is how quickly obedient he is when told no.  Folks he is two and we have been bracing for the word terrible to enter into the equation.  But save for some pretty rare times that he displays anger, no such thing has been the norm.  As he sat on the couch yesterday evening he grabbed the remote to the TV.  I said, "Please put that down." knowing he really wanted to play with it bracing for some kind of rebellion or whining.  But instead he said, "Oh-Kay" and put the remote down.

Perhaps the contrast of my twins exerting quite a bit of independence, arguing over every request we make of them just makes it seem that much more awesome to have such a tender-hearted obedience from Joshua.  But who knows?  I love ALL of my children and don't have favorites.  That is not the point of this post.  Instead it is to brag on the third member of the trio and show my appreciation to God for making his little persona part of our lives!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Propaganda Begins


Well false flag or not, the bombing of the Boston Marathon is already being used to perpetuate a message.  And while many are spouting this message it seems they have elected Tom Brokaw as poster boy for delivering the agenda plans.  I saw him on an evening news broadcast and then Googled this morning only to find him delivering the same basic speech on the Today Show.

His message?  Well in part that we should expect to see a ratcheting up of security everywhere we go.  Not just in airports but office buildings, sporting events, and any area where large numbers of people gather.  He makes sure to throw in a few touching points about how Americans take care of one another in times like these and how the lines of political difference disappear so that we all smile and nod while he throws in the almost subliminal idea that we should continue sacrificing our freedoms for added security.  That we should see the coming police state as a good thing, meant to protect us, not enslave us.

I don't know about you but this message sickens me and its been drilled into our psyche since September 11th.  TSA and body scanners don't make me feel any safer.  Not bringing liquids and toenail clippers on board don't make me feel any safer.  Having a three hundred pound "agent" pat me down doesn't give me confidence that she could chase down and man-handle a real threat to security.  As is always the case, the criminals never suffer from the end results of these events...the law abiding people do.  Criminals will just keep breaking the laws unless caught.  You cannot legislate psychopathic behavior.

Shame on Tom and shame on the mainstream media for continuing to tow this line.  I assure you that further restrictions to our freedoms will solve nothing and will only make us a more obvious a police state.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Questions

Sadly, my wife and I found ourselves rather hardened to the news coming out of Boston.  Not because we fail to be sympathetic to the victims of this senseless tragedy.  My heart aches for those that lost their lives and especially for the eight year old.  My heart aches for those that were once vibrant athletes that now have missing limbs.  And I am truly disturbed that the area these bombs were planted was on the last mile set up to honor the lives lost at Sandy Hook.

What I mean by hardened is more along the lines of not shocked.  Since 9/11 its seems par for the course and in some ways much less catastrophic.  We've practically been conditioned to see explosions and not bat an eye between real life coverage during this last decade of wars and the constant barrage of fictional (but very realistic looking) violence in our entertainment media.  So I found myself pondering various questions.

Ones like:

I wonder who did this?

More importantly who will get the blame while the real culprits are never known?

Is this yet another false flag event?

Even if it's not a false flag, how will our government capitalize on it?  They say never let any tragedy be wasted, always use it as propaganda for your agenda.

Will large scale events or large gatherings of people now be outlawed?

Will our right to assemble be the next area of personal freedom that gets destroyed in the name of security?

Will it become the norm to have terrorist attacks in our own streets?

Will this all be forgotten in a week?

Can you tell that I am jaded?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Inward Focus

This weekend was not a good one for my family.  Sparring the details I had a cousin in her mid twenties hospitalized initially in critical condition.  I learned of this incident right before coaching my two soccer games.  I did spend a great deal of time thinking about her, praying for her, and asking others to pray as well.  But it wasn't long before the details of my little bubble began blurring my outward vision.  Instead I began focusing inward and selfishly letting details like a broken garage door, pets having potty accidents in my house, replacing a dishwasher, and losing the aforementioned soccer games bog me down.

How selfish can I be?  How self absorbed and concerned are we when home repairs and animal urine get us off track while a more serious matter is worth our attention?  Granted the series of events that happened to us this weekend at any other time would be worth some aggravation and I am sparring  you quite a few details.  It was odd how one thing would pop up, only for another, and another, and another.  But through it all, I had to keep reminding myself how silly these things were compared to my cousins situation.  I had to snap myself back into reality and prioritize my emotional responses correctly.

While its sad and disappointing to be confronted with my own selfish nature, I am glad that God has at least made it such that I feel convicted of this.  The only thing worse than being self absorbed is being self absorbed and naive to your own wretchedness.  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.  That song practically narrates my life.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hindsight

This morning in my Men's Discipleship Group I had the opportunity to share something from my life map.  It could be about a particular person, event, revelation, or even my testimony.  After much brainstorming and prayerful thought I went with the story of mine and Rachael's journey to bring children into this world.  What is normally taken for granted and requires an act that is very pleasing for most couples turned out for us to require years of failure, medical treatment, and anguish.  Infertility is a painful reality pill to swallow especially when God has put the desire in your heart to be a parent.  Both of us always wanted children and we'd always talked about having three.

Most of you that know us, also know the end of this painful journey and know that God made a way and that He was faithful in giving us our hearts desire with exactly three.  Literally blood, sweat, and tears, plus a few petri dishes were involved, but He made a way.  Interestingly my biggest worry in re-telling this story was doing it any kind of justice.  Those years before the twins of wondering whether or not God was listening, those years of very humbling medical procedures...those years of emotional highs and lows every time a new procedure would render negative results were very real and very tough.

But here I sit on the other side of that fence almost detached from it all.  Hindsight is not only 20/20 its healing and causes one to move on.  I am sure if I sat quietly reflecting on those days long enough I might be able to get myself back in touch with the emotions of that period.  But for the most part I've forgotten that pain and am almost so far past it that I can't relate to it anymore.  I am not sure that is completely good or completely bad.  Healing of any kind is funny that way.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Trade Off

We tend to cultivate the grass is greener syndrome in our society.  We upgrade our phones, computers, cars., tv's, cable and internet providers, clothes, and sometimes even school systems.  Any realtor can tell you that being in a good school district is always a high selling point.  But is the grass always greener?  And even if it is, could it be due to the excess of "fertilizer" that is on that side of the fence?

I am in a transition phase that I've been waiting for close to a year.  My old landlord finally released us from our lease obligations and asked us to move out by Monday (yesterday) with only three days notice.  Not wishing to argue about short notice, I made it happen.  And I expected troubleshooting and kinks with moving all kinds of equipment but I am VERY tired at this point of playing the role of IT administrator.  Between supporting my clients from twenty miles away and the barrage of issues that I have had to figure out in the past two days, I am pretty worn out.

The greener grass is still nice.  My commute is very short, and the rent is unbeatable.  Let just hope I haven't fallen into the trap and just traded off one set of difficulties for another set.  I wasn't looking for a trade off.  I was looking for an upgrade.  Time will tell and I am still somehow optimistic.  A bit skeptical but ultimately optimistic.

Can you relate?

Monday, April 08, 2013

Today's Mailbag 21


Tonsils vs. Circumcision   

Two little kids are in a hospital, lying on stretchers next to each other outside the operating room, the first surgeries of the day.

The first kid leans over and asks, "What are you in here for?"

The second kid says, "I'm getting my tonsils out, and I'm afraid."

The first kid says, "You've got nothing to worry about. I had that done when I was four. They put you to sleep, and when you wake up they give you lots of Jell-O and ice cream. It's a breeze."

The second kid then asks, "What are you here for?"

The first kid says, "Circumcision."

"Whoa!" the second kid replies, "Good luck, buddy. I had that done when I was born.
Couldn't walk for a year." 

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Age Appropriate Truths

It didn't take long before my wife and I were challenged with questions from our children that made us take pause.  And now that they are 7, it seems an acceleration of curiosity is occurring.  Perhaps because they are surrounded by older kids that introduce new ideas or perhaps just because its the natural progression of their development.

Pick a topic and we have at least broached the general themes involved holding back on the full story at least for now.  They ask about child birth and we tell them babies come out of the mommy's tummy.  That satisfies them and is technically true without having to delve into graphic details that may be more mature than they can currently handle.  Recently Michael got his mom to admit that the Easter basket full of goodies was actually from us.  Yet somehow he still hasn't put it together that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are suspect.  My kids know the story of David and Goliath but not the part about the giant having his head removed at the end.

Many of their cartoons and TV shows contain content that I understand and take issue with but it goes right over their heads and I have to remind myself of that.  But the most recent topic of struggle that I would love your advice about is regarding the Biblical narratives of Satan.  Michael found out long ago that his name has special meaning in Scripture when it refers to the arch angel that victoriously kicks Satan out of heaven.  That was enough information for him at the time.  But now he is quite interested in the full story.

I gave him more details yesterday, careful not to scare him, and strategically using the opportunity to talk more about Christ and His gift of salvation than anything else.  But he woke up this morning with more questions and seems to have an insatiable thirst for more knowledge on the topic.  Being very interested in good versus evil, his curiosity is stemming more from excited fascination than from any kind of fearful inquiry.  That helps me a bit but still doesn't give me clear direction regarding how much to tell him.

Has this come up in your home?  What are you telling your children about the fall, about Satan, and about sin?

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Accuracy Of Prophesy

Two recent events have Youtube prophesy watchers excited.  The unexpected Papal shifting of power and the Obama visit to Israel.  I must admit that I also watched both of these events go down with interest.  Both had the potential to fulfill both Biblical and extra Biblical predictions.  As someone who is quite interested in this subject matter, I must conclude that neither of these have me convinced despite those that are making bold claims to the contrary.

One of the many reasons I came to Christ was due to the dead on accuracy of prophetic visions from generations prior to the events actually taking place.  There are over 300 prophesies in the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled in His 33 years on earth.  The odds of any one person being able to match up to all three hundred plus is beyond chance and deserves the label, "astronomical".  So I feel very confident in my skepticism of events because I know God doesn't play this hocus pocus game with vague predictions that may or may not apply depending on the observer.

Instead He always delivers very specific language describing very specific places, events, and individuals.  But you be the judge.  Do you think these two situations deserve the rhetoric and airtime they are getting?